So you can imagine that their stance on cheating in the program is very stringent. If you cheat, you’re supposed to start again at day one with no exceptions. As an intense perfectionist in life, this scared me more than any other rule or dietary restriction. And to be fair, I think that any dietary change is hard. Maybe it’s not like quitting heroin, but it’s also not like a spa massage. Did I mention that I also don’t like when people tell me what to do? As a really small child, I stabbed myself in the eye with a fork because my mom told me not to. Yeah … tough love isn’t my love language. Life is complicated.
Aside from the cult-like devotion CrossFit inspires, I was also wary of the politics of its parent organization, which drew some heat for awarding a Glock handgun to the winner of the 2016 CrossFit Games. That, and the sports overwhelming lack of ethnic diversity—about 86% of CrossFitters identify as white—left me with an unfavorable view of the sport. Still, I gave it a shot.
In terms of food, I kicked up my creativity up a notch in the kitchen. I tried experimenting with recipes that were a little more complex than my usual, like making pesto out of cashews and avocados and serving it over a plate of zoodles. I made blueberry energy bites in my food processor to snack on during a movie marathon and grab for a quick breakfast. I also tried new snacks, like bottled tomatillo jalapeno soup from ZÜPA NOMA and chia pudding from Daily Harvest to mix things up.
Fruits are not only delicious, but they’re also great for you. That said, fruits (even paleo-approved ones) contain large amounts of fructose which, while much better than HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup), is still sugar. If you’re looking to lose weight on the paleo diet, you’ll want to cut back on your fruit intake and focus more on the vegetables allowed on the paleo diet. However, feel free to have one to three servings of fruit a day. Check out this list of paleo diet fruits and see if you’re not hungry by the end! (We’ll admit, we’re partial to blackberries!)
This list is going to be a little longer than the last. You cut out all sugar (both real and all substitutes whether natural or artificial, like honey, maple syrup, Splenda, etc.). No grains, legumes (including all forms of soy), dairy, or alcohol. You’re also told to avoid additives like MSG and carrageenan, although that should happen naturally if you’re sticking to whole foods.
You’ll lose weight because any time you restrict entire food groups, your calorie intake tends to be lower, Sandon says. And whenever you burn more calories than you consume, you'll have weight loss, she says. (2) The focus on lean protein, fruits, and vegetables over calorie- and sodium-rich processed foods can also contribute to weight loss, though she also points out that the paleo diet wasn’t created to be a weight loss diet. (3)
Excluding foods. The exclusion of entire categories of commonly eaten foods like whole grains and dairy requires frequent label reading in the supermarket and in restaurants. It may also increase the risk of deficiencies such as calcium, vitamin D, and B vitamins, if these nutrients are not consistently eaten from the allowed foods or a vitamin supplement. For example, there are some nondairy calcium-rich foods that are absorbed well by the body such as collard and turnip greens or canned bone-in sardines and salmon, but you would have to eat five or more servings of these greens and fish bones daily to meet recommended calcium needs. (Note that some greens like spinach that are touted to be calcium-rich also contain oxalates and phytates that bind to calcium so very little is actually absorbed.) One small, short-term intervention study of healthy participants showed a 53% decrease from baseline in calcium intake after following a Paleo diet for three weeks.  Furthermore, the exclusion of whole grains can result in reduced consumption of beneficial nutrients such as fiber and thus may increase one’s risk for diabetes and heart disease.
It takes 30 days to push the reset button on your health and change your relationship with food. This is the concept behind Melissa and Dallas Hartwig’s Whole30 program. By eating non-processed whole foods and ditching grains, dairy, and sugar, you will reduce inflammation in your system, clear up your skin, and revitalize your energy stores. These are just a few of the benefits this program boasts.
Cordain admits that meat leads to plaque and increases cholesterol where plants wouldn’t. And science establishes that plaque and cholesterol lead to heart attacks and strokes. But Cordain argues that plaque alone is insufficient to cause harm. Rather, it is plaque combined with inflammation that causes heart attacks and strokes. So avoid acid, salt, legumes, wheat, starchy vegetables, dairy, oil, fatty meats, and grains because they cause inflammation. But if both science and Cordain agree that plaque is a necessary part of the heart-disease equation—and that meat causes plaque—why should we follow Paleo rather than just forgo meat?
Cancer: Disease of Civilization? An anthropological and historical study by Vilhjalmur Stefansson. This classic shows what happens before and after tribes were "civilized." Covers day-to-day experience of Eskimo life. Published in 1960. Used copies are available at a steep price. To read it get it on inter-library loan. Another of his many books My Life with the Eskimo (New Edition) is available.
Whole30 is a nutritional program designed to change the way you feel and eat in 30 days. Basically, you have to remove all of the potentially inflammatory foods and beverages in your diet (think: added sugar and sweeteners, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, processed foods and beverages, baked goods, and junk foods) and eat three "clean" meals a day, made with Whole30-approved ingredients (think: meats, seafood, veggies, and eggs).
In making the case for meat, Cordain presents anecdotal evidence of Eskimos who lived their full life without a heart attack. The Eskimo diet consists of 97% meat, which he concedes causes all Eskimos to develop atherosclerosis—a common precursor to heart disease. But Cordain says Eskimos never die of heart disease. He discusses one Eskimo who lived 45 years and another who lived 53 years, both without heart disease! He then jumps to the conclusion that because these Eskimos didn’t get heart attacks, even with severe atherosclerosis, meat must have protected them from heart disease. So Cordain’s best case for lots of meat is that you can live to the ripe age of 45 or even 53 without a heart attack. But do people—even unhealthy smokers or the obese—generally get heart attacks before age 53?
The Garden of Eating: A Produce-Dominated Diet & Cookbook by Rachel Albert-Matesz and Don Matesz presents evidence for a diet of vegetables, fruits, and pasture-fed animal products. Provides a practical plan and 250 delicious, family-friendly, grain- and dairy-free recipes. Buy from the author's page The Garden of Eating. Rachel's blog The Healthy Cooking Coach. The cookbook maintains a perfect rating at Amazon.
On 4 June 2014, CrossFit uploaded a "parody video to their Facebook page" of Jesus, featuring concepts such as the "Holy Trinity of exercise". Yasmine Hafiz wrote in The Huffington Post that some "viewers are outraged at the disrespectful use of a Christian symbol", with one user asking "on what planet is it comical or encouraged to mock someones belief?"
That's Whole30 speak for "Sex With Your Pants On." Basically, it's a silly name for the idea that recreating treats with Whole30-approved ingredients—like cauliflower pizza crust or sugar-free butternut squash brownies—isn't worth it. Like trying to have sex with your pants on, these sorts of treats are never as good as the real thing, so you might as well avoid them altogether. But more importantly, they go against the spirit of Whole30, which is all about learning to enjoy pure, simple fare and improving your emotional relationship with food. So if you're gorging on a coffee cake made with zucchini, you're kind of missing the point. "The plan is only 30 days. Just focus on eating whole food, and enjoying it while you do," Haas says.
^ Hou JK, Lee D, Lewis J (October 2014). "Diet and inflammatory bowel disease: review of patient-targeted recommendations". Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Review). 12 (10): 1592–600. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2013.09.063. PMC 4021001. PMID 24107394. Even less evidence exists for the efficacy of the SCD, FODMAP, or Paleo diets. Furthermore, the practicality of maintaining these interventions over long periods of time is doubtful.
You’ll be exposed to a ton of new, delicious recipes. If you know you’re not the cooking type, start simple. Instead of making the fancy egg-bake in a cast-iron pan, grab some eggs, veggies, sausage, and avocado then scramble your breakfast. Top it with (sugar-free) hot sauce, and you'll have yourself a solid meal in seven minutes. Don't be afraid to make that for breakfast five times a week; making similar meals over and over again is easier than trying to whip up (new) complicated ones.
This same logic informs CrossFit’s sanctioning of competitive events. We’ve long recognized the efforts of CrossFit affiliates, coaches, volunteers, and athletes in building grassroots competitions around the globe. These competitive events wonderfully illustrate the community’s role as co-developer in the sport of fitness. The energy, excitement, and opportunity that animates the CrossFit Games season springs from the affiliate community and its members, not CrossFit, Inc.
After spending a week fine-tuning my new eating plan, I decided to add workouts back into my routine. On a typical week, I'll go to a cardio or strength class (I like boxing) once or twice and do some yoga or stretching at home another night. I dove right in and hit up my favorite boxing studio, Rumble. But I was really nervous. What if I didn't have enough energy? What if I passed out during class? What if I got so hungry I caved and bought a slice of pizza on the walk home from class?
To deal with this major food rut and disinterest in cooking, I bought my lunch every single day from Dig Inn and begged my boyfriend to take me out to dinner at a restaurant with Whole30–compliant options. As someone who typically brings lunch to work and cooks dinner on weeknights, I knew I was spending way over my normal budget, but I couldn't help myself. It was for my sanity.
Optimal Diet is a dietary model of human nutrition devised and implemented by Dr. Jan Kwasniewski. Lots of fat and low in carbs. Lots and lots of articles collected from various places. He has an out-of-print book: Optimal Nutrition. The book is explained at the Australian Homo Optimus Association website. A thorough analysis is the first post here: Dr. Kwasniewski's Optimal Diet: Sanity, Clarity, Facts.
CrossFit programming is decentralized, but its general methodology is used by thousands of private affiliated gyms, fire departments, law-enforcement agencies, and military organizations, including the Royal Danish Life Guards, as well as by some U.S. and Canadian high-school physical-education teachers, high-school and college sports teams, and the Miami Marlins.